Paso Canoas is the town on the border between Panama and Costa Rica on the PanAmerican highway. I’d been there a number of times to cross the border but hadn’t spent much time exploring the shops there. Many people go there to shop because of the lower prices and good deals.
I’m from the US where you go to the mall and walk down the spacious corridors. If you can’t find something you look for the map – Penny’s is down that hall, the shoe store is up there on the upper level. The bathrooms are by the food court and there are benches in attractive areas if you want to rest.
Now, picture the exact opposite of that and you might be imagining something like Paso Canoas. I would have to visit a number of times more to even begin to make sense of it! There are some larger stores, and tons of little shops in every possible space. If you walk out the back door of some you are in Panama, but the front door is in Costa Rica. There are passageways behind stores crammed with little shops, sometimes with music blaring, and watch your step because there are steps and uneven floors.
I took some photos, though they don’t begin to convey the experience of Paso Canoas
This is only a tiny taste of Paso Canoas. I would have to spend quite a bit more time there to make any sense of it. I wasn’t sure where I was some of the time, and I’m glad I wasn’t there to buy something I really needed to find. I did find a set of sheets for our spare bed though, full size. I passed over the $6 sets for something I liked a bit better for $8.
If you want an interesting experience, go wander around Paso Canoas.